“As the old song goes, nothing lasts forever / Because it’s going to go and leave you just wherever / Your heart and soul collapses like currency / In a broken man’s forever damned economy / Do you trust this human? / Can you trust this human?”
As we continue to move beyond the global pandemic, there is nothing more encouraging than seeing an artist making plans to head back out on the road to tour and share their wonderful music. I recall a conversation back in late 2018 discussing Canadian artists who hardly ever spent time in their own beds, seemingly living out of a suitcase as they traveled constantly from city to city, and country to country. And while obvious names were tossed out – Ben Caplan, Alan Doyle, Steve Poltz – I proudly nominated Torontonian Rob Moir as my worthy honoree of being crowned Canada’s ultimate road warrior.
Heading into the final stretch of 2022, glancing back at touring schedules over the last couple of seasons has definitely been encouraging – and especially so with artists that ventured into our neck of the woods for us to experience in person for ourselves. One such example is SK musician Andy Shauf, whose extensive late winter tour took him all over the US east coast and beyond (our first concert of the year). And right now, SK rockers The Sheepdogs are riding a bus on a North American tour – having hit the road in September, their wheels shall continue to roll into early 2023 (they even hopped back over the pond to add in a few extra gigs for the fun of it). Road warriors are back, and they clearly have a ton of post-pandemic energy to burn.
“It’s no fuss if you know why / We kept candles and matchsticks from a birthday cake of last year / Just can’t throw away that Ikea picture frame / Scratch that tattoo of a name / When we fall flat down / And need a hand getting off the ground / It used to feel just like magic / Like nothing bad would ever happen.”
Alright, I’m about to veer off on a momentary tangent here, but hear me out. If we were to treat and grade touring musicians in the same context as we would our “fantasy hockey” draft pools, just how would my scorecard by shaping up right now if Rob Moir was the captain of my fantasy team? Assuming that 2022-23 touring schedules form the basis of our tournament, I’d have to accept not making many highlight reels just yet. Drafting Andy Shauf, or Steve Poltz, or even rising road warrior Terra Lightfoot right now means you are dominating my hockey pool. Heck, if Ben Caplan wears the ‘C’ on your squad, you’re almost untouchable – Ben’s passport and travel visas are hotter than molten lava right now.
As in hockey, however, tourneys are not won right out of the gate during the early stages of the season. I’m happy to play the percentages and slap the ‘C’ on Rob Moir’s jersey once again – this wily veteran embarking on a 35+ date European tour this month. My fantasy team shall not be basement dwellers for long, because for Rob Moir, a 35+ date tour across France and Germany is just like hockey warm-ups. That’s right, he’s just getting started – he’ll be on fine form for the rest of the game, and he’ll have my team competing for a cup come seasons end.
“Here’s a snapshot of this life here in shambles / Frozen in time for a little while / Can’t see the forest for the glowing screens / The swipes and hits of dopamine / When we fall flat down / And need a hand getting off the ground / Things will get a little weird / But someday all will be soft and clear.”
To kick off the tour of Germany, which concludes mid-December in both Switzerland and Liechtenstein, Rob released this latest single – itself written long before the pandemic. “[It’s about] social media dividing us and refusing to see the worst in humanity,” he shares. “It’s called Trust This Human.” And just a few days prior to hitting the road, Rob also created a visualizer, self-recorded whilst walking around Paris in an attempt to shrug off the jet lag. I’m sure that after some quick time-zone adjustments, Rob will be back doing what he loves – hitting the road, playing small town venues, biking from gig to gig, with hopefully no more misadventures of being lost in the forests of Poland with no cell phone service (true story). Go ahead, Rob – shake off that jet-lag, and return to those pre-pandemic days when 500 gigs over 2 years across 20 countries was just “another day at the office.” That’s the kind of Road Warrior I’m talking about!
“And no one knows where this goes / Hold on tight for a ride / Unaware / Unprepared / Hold your nose and dive / As the old song goes, nothing last forever / Because it’s going to go and leave you just wherever / … / Do you trust this human? / Can you trust this human? / Do you trust this human? / Can you trust this human?”
The British guy that crossed the ocean and crash landed in central Pennsylvania (to quote Greg Keelor, “And I wonder what am I doing here?”). As the youngest of four siblings, exposure to music from a very early age nurtured my passion and appreciation for many musical genres. Continuing to discover some amazingly diverse and talented musicians based in Canada, I gravitate to live music experiences and remain devoted to spreading the word about such a vibrant music scene.